August 2015

#Cubs acquire Austin Jackson

The Cubs have acquired outfielder Austin Jackson from the Mariners for a player to be named later and a possible international slot. A right-handed hitter, Jackson was batting .272 in 107 games with the Mariners and has stolen 15 bases. Jackson does have postseason experience with the Tigers, and reached the World Series in 2012. The Cubs are looking at improving the bench for the postseason, and Jackson could fill that spot. Plus, the Cubs were looking for support with Jorge Soler sidelined for at least a month with an oblique injury.

The Cubs also have signed Quintin Berry and Emilio Bonifacio to Minor League contracts, and they will be considered for a bench spot as well.

Mike Olt was designated for assignment to make room for Jackson on the 40-man roster. Olt, 27, appeared in six games with the Cubs before he landed on the DL with a hairline fracture of his right wrist on April 11 in Colorado.

Seattle reporters Greg Johns and Shannon Drayer first reported the deal.

#Cubs Arrieta named NL Player of the Week

Jake Arrieta, who threw his first career no-hitter on Sunday, was named National League Player of the Week for Aug. 24-30. He posted a perfect 2-0 record and led the Majors with 20 strikeouts in two starts. In Los Angeles on Sunday night, he held the NL West leading Dodgers hitless in a 2-0 win, striking out 12 and walking one. It was his 17th victory, most in the Major Leagues. He struck out the side in the ninth, and is the first pitcher to finish a no-hitter in such a fashion since Sandy Koufax fanned the last six Cubs he faced in his perfect game in 1965 (Elias Sports Bureau).

According to Elias, Arrieta also is the seventh pitcher in MLB history to toss a no-hitter after being on the losing end of a no-no earlier in the same season. Arrieta’s only loss in his last 14 outings came July 25 when the Phillies’ Cole Hamels no-hit the Cubs.

Arrieta’s no-hitter, coupled with his win at San Francisco last Tuesday, give him 14 straight quality starts, marking the longest such streak by a Cubs pitcher since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux posted 14 in a row in 1992.

Arrieta also is a candidate for Pitcher of the Month in August. He went 6-0 in 6 Gs with an 0.43 ERA (2 ER over 42
1/3 IP).

#Cubs Minor League report: Baez 4 hits

Sunday’s games

Javy Baez had four hits and Dallas Beeler gave up one unearned run over eight innings in Iowa’s 9-1 win over Sacramento. Beeler struck out seven. Emilio Bonifacio had four hits and two RBI, and Taylor Davis had three hits.

Jeimer Candelario hit a solo home run and Felix Pena gave up two runs over seven innings in Tennessee’s 4-3 win over Jacksonville. Ryan Dent had three hits.

Myrtle Beach’s game vs. Wilmington was postponed because of rain. The Pelicans face Potomac Monday night.

South Bend beat Bowling Green, 4-3. Erick Leal threw six shutout innings for the win. Ian Happ had two hits, including his fifth home run, and a double.

Carson Sands gave up one earned run over six innings in Eugene’s 10-4 win over Hillsboro. Ian Rice had two hits, including a home run and a double, and two RBI. Donnie Dewees had two hits and one RBI. Eloy Jimenez had two hits.

Mesa faces the Mariners Monday night in the Arizona League playoffs. The Cubs finished the regular season, 31-22, best overall mark in the East.

#Cubs face Reds; honor Arrieta

Kyle Hendricks takes the mound Monday night as the Cubs open a three-game series against the Reds. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber C

Coghlan LF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant RF

La Stella 3B

Castro 2B

Hendricks P

Russell SS

*This will be Kris Bryant’s fourth outfield start, and second in right.

*The Cubs will honor Jake Arrieta pre-game. The right-hander threw his first career no-hitter Sunday night against the Dodgers, and on Monday, was named NL Player of the Week. He went 2-0 with 20 strikeouts in two games last week. On Sunday, he held the Dodgers hitless, striking out 12.

#Cubs to head home from LA in comfort


#Cubs Arrieta goes for win vs Dodgers

Jake Arrieta gets the start Sunday night against the Dodgers in the series finale. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Denorfia RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Castro 2B

Szczur LF

Montero C

Arrieta P

Russell 6

Arrieta enters his final August start 5-0 with a 0.54 ERA (2 ER/33 1/3 IP) and looks to match Boston’s Joe Kelly as the only two pitchers in baseball with six wins in August.

Arrieta is the fifth Cubs pitcher in the last 30 years to win five games in August, the first since Mark Prior in 2003.

Arrieta’s 0.54 ERA this month is the lowest by a qualifying Cubs pitcher since Guy Bush turned in a 0.17 ERA (1 ER/51 2/3 IP) in August 1926.

Starting June 21, Arrieta has gone 10-1 with a 1.17 ERA in 13 starts, the only 10-game winner in this span and matching Clayton Kershaw for the lowest ERA in the Majors in this stretch. His only loss came when the Cubs were no-hit by Cole Hamels on July 25.

#Cubs homestand: Boxing, #WeAreGood t-shirts and more

The Cubs return home Monday for a six-game homestand, beginning with a three-game series against the Reds. Here are some highlights:

*On Wednesday, manager Joe Maddon and his wife, Jaye, will host “Respect the Main Event” at Ravenswood Event Center. The charity boxing event will feature local youth boxers at various skill levels as well as a special main event bout. Guests will be sit ringside with Cubs players, and enjoy cocktails, hand-rolled cigars and spirits tasting stations, dinner courtesy of Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse and a premium auction including wine and unique sports memorabilia.

A limited number of general admission tickets are available for $300 at A portion of the net proceeds will benefit Crushers Club’s youth boxing program in Englewood.

*The popular #WeAreGood T-shirts will be for sale on Friday at Wrigley Field. The Cubs Wives will offer the T-shirts in the main concourse by Gate F. The shirts, inspired by catcher Miguel Montero’s popular Twitter hashtag, will be available for a $25 donation benefiting Cubs Charities and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

*On Monday, members of the World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s National Team, Lori Chalupny, Julie Johnston and Christen Press, will throw the first pitch and sing the seventh inning stretch.

*On Sunday, Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling will toss a first pitch and former Cubs broadcaster and current Arizona Diamondbacks television analyst Bob Brenly will lead the stretch.

Let’s Give Charitable Campaign:

On Tuesday, Cubs Charities along with the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, the Jason Motte Foundation, Jon Lester’s NVRQT campaign and Joe Maddon’s Respect 90 Foundation will launch the #LetsGoGold initiative to raise funds for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month through Sept. 19.

Fans can visit to take part in the fight against cancer by making a donation to the respective nonprofits. The top fundraiser from each nonprofit listed above will receive two tickets and the opportunity to throw a ceremonial first pitch at the Sept. 20 game. Cubs players and coaches will wear gold batting practice jerseys and hats before the team takes on division rival Cardinals that day. The jerseys and hats along with signed gold baseballs will be available for purchase through Cubs Authentics with proceeds benefiting player foundations.

*On Thursday, Maddon and his wife Jaye will be back in the community hosting “Spoxing for Charity,” a one-day pop-up fitness event under the Wrigley Field marquee. Spoxing is a group class, which uniquely combines spinning and boxing with a warm-up on stationary spin bikes followed by a heavy bag and boxing glove workout. Participants will partake in a 45-minute version of the class, offered during four different sessions, starting at 10 a.m. CT. Net proceeds from the event will benefit Maddon’s Respect 90 Foundation. For more information, please visit

#Cubs will wrap up West Coast trip in P.J.’s

No matter what happens in the series finale on Sunday, the Cubs will return to Chicago in comfort. They’ll be wearing their pajamas.

The players were notified that this West Coast trip is the “onesies” trip, which means they have to wear pajamas on the flight back Sunday night. It’s part of manager Joe Maddon’s attitude, which he says he learned growing up in Pennsylvania to “have a party regardless of whether you win or lose.”

The Cubs are 1-4 so far against the Giants and Dodgers. Maddon knows how tough these trips to the Pacific Time Zone can be.

“It’s a West Coast trip, and sometimes they’re difficult for young players who haven’t done it before,” Maddon said.  “I’ve been through it many a time. If your players don’t care, if your players don’t show up, if your players don’t play hard, then you become disappointed, but we have [played hard and shown up]. We haven’t hit the ball very well on this trip. We’ve normally been very good on the road and we haven’t been that good on this trip.”

The Cubs have totaled six runs in the last four games, all losses.

“I would have to say it’s an epidemic right now,” Maddon said, tongue in cheek.

Jon Lester, who took the loss Saturday night, said the current losing skid isn’t “concerning.”

“Obviously, it’s not how we wanted to come out here and play,” Lester said. “We’ve played so well lately. We’re not playing bad baseball — we’re not killing ourselves with errors.”

The Cubs had won 21 of 25 games before this four-game skid. On Sunday night, Jake Arrieta will start against the Dodgers.

“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about,” Miguel Montero said. “You’re playing good teams. Unfortunately, we haven’t had that big hit that gets a couple runners in. When the score is tight, it puts a lot of pressure on the pitcher. As hitters, we need to do a little better job. [We need to] hit the ball, I guess, because we’re striking out a lot.”

Despite the losses, the Cubs still have a hold on the second Wild Card spot.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Minor League report: Iowa sweeps DH

Saturday’s games

Iowa swept a doubleheader against Sacramento, winning 5-1 in the first game, and 2-1 in 12 innings in the second. Eric Jokisch gave up one run over seven innings for the win in the opener. Mike Olt had two hits, including a home run. Javy Baez went 3-for-10 in the two games, and has hit in 15 in a row. Christian Villanueva drove in the game-winning run in the second game. Frank Batista gave up one hit over four innings in the second game.

Pierce Johnson gave up one run over seven innings in Tennessee’s 5-3 win over Jacksonville. Johnson struck out eight and walked three, scattering five hits. Ryan Dent hit two home runs and drove in four. Albert Almora Jr. had two hits.

Jason Vosler hit a walk-off homer in the 12th to lead Myrtle Beach to a 2-1 win over Wilmington. It was Vosler’s sixth homer of the season. Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits.

South Bend lost, 15-0, to Great Lakes. Jeffrey Baez had two hits. Zach Hedges gave up 10 runs on 11 hits over four innings.

Eugene lost, 3-0, to Hillsboro. Eloy Jimenez had two hits, including a double.

Robert Garcia had three hits, including a solo homer in the first, in Mesa’s 3-2 win over the Athletics.

#Cubs expected to call up Baez Tuesday

The Cubs were expected to call up infielder Javier Baez on Tuesday when Major League teams can expand their rosters. Baez was batting .316 in 67 games at Triple-A Iowa.

“I would say he’s probably sooner rather than later, probably a first wave kind of guy because there’s a lot things he can do to help you win right now,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Baez, who missed the first month following the death of his sister, and was sidelined for another month because of a finger injury.

“He’s playing well and moving all over the place,” Maddon said of the Cubs’ 2011 No. 1 Draft pick. “He’s had good at-bats, more consistent at-bats, more under control. He’s been doing well.”

Baez struck out 130 times in 104 games last season at Iowa, and then fanned 95 times in 213 at-bats over 52 games with the Cubs after he was called up in early August.

Others expected to be added in the first wave on Sept. 1 include Quintin Berry and Emilio Bonifacio, who were both signed to Minor League contracts, and will be considered as options on the bench as pinch-runners. Iowa’s season ends Sept. 7, and the Cubs will add a few more players after that, Maddon said.

One option the Cubs are considering, Maddon said, is right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr., 23, who has a 3.03 ERA in 21 relief appearances at Iowa. Edwards was ranked No. 3 by on the list of top 20 Cubs prospects.

“‘CJ’ is an interesting guy and I’m not exactly sure if and when, but I know [the front office] like him a lot, too, so I know that’s a possibility,” Maddon said.

—  Carrie Muskat